Monday, 25 March 2013


Book of the moment: Skulls

Skulls, an exploration of Alan Dudley's curious collection
Simon Winchester
Black Dog & Leventhal, 2012
ISBN-13: 978-1-57912-912-5

A beautiful book. It celebrates bone, with photographs that revel in the curve and the line, the sharp edges and deep shadows that make skulls so captivating.

Skulls is as rich and as stark as the bones it holds. There is minimal text. For each skull, we get the basic zoological information and that's it. But that's all that's needed. I find myself drawn in, turning pages, skeletal browsing and brooding a bit. The collection itself presented is intriguing. These are all from the collection of a single man. Alan Dudley has a collection of 2,000 skulls and a passion for collecting that eventually brought him into court with a handful of skulls that had slipped into his possession in breach of international and national law

A reminder not to lose one's own perspective perhaps. But then, open the book and revere the animals brought to you here, through the temples of their bones and be inspired.

 Natural History Book Shop - you could get a copy here

my own bones tend to end a bit more festive than the beauties in this book

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

The Grumpy Wizard

apropos of nothing at all....some Year 1 children and I were playing with words, hats and props last week and ended up with an unexpected story poem which was so delightfully silly, I thought we should post it!
The path to the Wizard's house


He had a pointy hat
And he had a pointy nose,
He had pointy fingers
And even pointy toes.

He pointed at the girls,
He pointed at the boys,
He worked some nasty magic
And turned them into toys
(not me!)

He took bits of cats,
He took bits of dogs,
He stirred a smelly potion
And turned them into frogs!
(you missed!)

He grabbed his magic wand
And made a fearful spell
There was a bang! and a flash!
But all that came was a smell

Growing very angry
He grabbed his tall, tough broom
He woke it up with curses
And swept them from the room
(you missed again!)

"No, no, no", he shouted
"I'll get rid of all you lot"
He grabbed a bucket of water
And chased them with his mop
a path runs past the wizard's house 

The children all ran laughing
And up and down the stairs,
They jumped on the wizard's bed,
And played on all his chairs

The wizard started crying
And sat down on a stone,
He said that he was sorry
And didn't want to be alone

The children became his friends
He taught them how to bake
They cooked themselves a feast
With sandwiches, juice and cake

Year 1 (various classes)
Whitefield Infant School
March 2013
the Wizard's house is a ruin now, our story, the children and the wizard himself all long gone